Slot machines have become almost ubiquitous in both land-based and online casinos. They are hands down some of the most popular casino games, with thousands of amazing titles from small and top-tier software developers. You don’t have to look far to find best-in-breed slot machines from the likes of NetEnt, Microgaming, Yggdrasil, 1X2Gaming, NextGen, iSoftBet, and much more.
Playing slot machines can be quite fun and exciting. If you play at the right online casino, you stand a chance of making big wins and triggering jackpot or bonus rounds. However, the wrong slot machine and poor winning strategy can make you run through your bankroll in no time.
So, unless you have a bottomless bankroll, it pays to choose the right slot machine. After all, how long will take you to finish a $20 bankroll without a decent win?
In this explainer article, I will walk you through tried and true tips and tricks you can use to choose the best slot machine.
Tip #1. It’s All about the RTP
If you are a seasoned casino player, then the concept of a return to player (RTP) isn’t that foreign to you. It’s what it sounds like – the percentage of all betted cash that a slot machine is technically supposed to give back to you. As such, choosing a slot machine with a high RTP seems like a no-brainer. After all, who wants to lose most of their cash to the casino?
RTP also helps tell you the house edge for each slot machine game. The higher the RTP, the lower the house edge, and the higher your chances of going home with winnings. It’s, however, worth noting that RPT doesn’t actually represent how much money you will get from a slot machine. You can win a lot more or less depending on your winning strategy and a little luck.
How to choose the right slot machine using RTP? You see, most slot machines, especially those that appear in online casinos, comes with RTPs ranging from 92 to 97 (or even more). Remember that the RTP of a particular game is usually set by the gaming software developer. If you really want to win at slots, the rule of thumb is to choose a slot machine with an RTP of 96% or above. Any slot machine that comes with an RTP lower than 92% is a dud that will swallow all your money.
So, which slot machines boast of decent RTPs? It’s always a good idea to look out for slot machines from established developers like NetEnt or Microgaming. NetEnt’s Devil’s Delight, which, for instance, comes with a significantly high RTP of 97.6%. That means the house edge is a meager 2.4%.
That doesn’t imply that you avoid slot machines from up and coming developers. A good example is 1X2Gaming that has been known to set their slot machine’s RTP above 96%.
Tip #2. Consider the Variance of the Slot Machine
Variance is yet another crucial factor to think about when it comes to choosing a winning slot machine. But, what exactly is volatility? Also commonly known as volatility, the variance is a measure or level of “risk” involved in playing a given slot machine.
If a slot machine is described as low volatility it means that you will win more often when you play at it. However, these could be smaller, more frequent wins. A high variance slot machine, on the other hand, pays bigger wins, less frequently.
It all boils down to your preference. Do you want to win bigger or more frequently? If you are particularly patient casino payer, a good high variance slot machine can be your best shot. But, if you are an impatient player, you might want to choose a low volatility slot machine.
How to determine if a slot machine is a low variance or high variance game? Simply read through our comprehensive review of your potential slot machines. We always do thorough research so you can find everything you need to know about each game at a glance.
A great slot machine with high volatility would be King of Atlantis by software developer IGT. It’s a run-of-the-mill 5-reel slot machine with 40 paylines and an undersea them. If you are going for a low variance slot machine, try Hotline by NetEnt.
Tip #3. Get Recommendations from Fellow Players
With the proliferation of online casinos, it seems like everyone is playing slots. That’s a good thing because you can trust your fellow players to direct you to the best slot machine. Even better, there are an array of forums, online communities, social media groups, and blogs (like ours), where you can ask for slot machine recommendations.
The good thing about getting recommendations from real casino players is that they give you an honest answer. They’ll tell you if a particular slot machine has been rigged in favor of the casino or not. They’ll show you slot machines that deliver big payouts and come with awesome jackpots.
Tip #4. Choose the Right Casino
When it comes to all-things gambling, it is best to choose a tried and true casino. An online casino with a track record of paying, respecting, and valuing their players. More importantly, pick an online casino that has been known not to rig their slot machines.
Tip #5. Check out Free Spins
Slot machines that offer free spins to players are fantastic. The higher the number of free spins, the higher your chances of winning without risking your own money. You might want to check out the casino’s wagering and rollover requirements, though. The good thing about free spins at slot machines is that you can bet as much as you see it fit.
Tip #6. Stay away from Branded Slot Machines
Think that slot machine named after your favorite movie, celebrity or place going to deliver big payouts? Think again. Branded slot machines are designed to lure you with their flashy and catchy names. You are better off checking out the RTP and asking others first.
BONUS READ: 8 Sneaky Ways to Cheat at Slots
Ari Waknine was born in Brooklyn, New York and was the founder of iGamble Group, an online gaming critique firm that helps players pick online gambling websites that fit their profile, as well as, helping them to increase their winnings. He is also the founder of NewCasinos.org, and is strictly focusing on this project making stronger and better than ever.